Cape Verde

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Flag of Cape Verde Cape Verde
Language: Portuguese
Capital: Praia
Population: 516,000
Currency: Cape Verde Escudo
Hitchability: <rating country='cv' />
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<map lat="16.107090722918" lng="-23.157117500014" zoom="7" view="0" float="right" />

Cape Verde is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Western Africa. People speak Portuguese Creole, which is similar enough to Portuguese to understand, but different enough to be its own language. Many people speak Portuguese, and consider Spanish to be workable. People working in tourism often speak French (their biggest tourist influx), then English, then Italian, German, and Dutch. Speaking a few phrases of Kriolu (Creole) will help you get along quite well.

It might be a good place to hitch a sailboat across the Atlantic.

The Archipelago

The archipelago of Cabo Verde consists of 10 major islands, of which 10 are inhabited. The inhabited islands are clockwise from Santo Antão: Santo Antão, São Vicente, São Nicolau, Sal, Boa Vista, Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava. The uninhabited island is Santa Luiza, with two large islets nearby. It's not allowed to visit Santa Luiza without a permit, as it's a protected region, mostly for birds.

The islands are connected by ferries and other boats. One company that does most of them is called Cabo Verde Fast Ferry. They have a fleet of three catamaran-style ferries that operate a top speed of about 40km/h. Mind of a Hitchhiker took a ferry from São Nicolau to São Vicente for €20 in 2019. If you're sensitive to seasickness, it's maybe best to not do this. About 10-20% of the ferry's users was vomiting on board. You can buy seasickness pills at every farmacy.

Travel on the Land


Hitchhiking isn't very easy in Cabo Verde, because of the private/public vehicle divide. All the vehicles that have a sign saying 'Aluguer' or 'Taxi' are by definition not private and therefore less hitchable, unless intentions are made clear beforehand. If a private car stops, it's good to make your intentions clear. Most people who are European immigrants to Cabo Verde know hitchhiking, and won't expect payment. Rides tend to be short, as maximum distances on each island can't be that long. On very touristy islands, like Sal, Boa Vista, São Vicente, and Santiago, it's possible to hitchhike with fellow visistors who are renting a vehicle.

Public Transit

There are not many people that own private cars in Cabo Verde. That's why it's likely you'll have to pay for rides at some point during your stay in the country. In the bigger cities there are city buses to get around. Between cities and villages, and villages and hamlets there are 'Yasi's' (named after the car model 'Hiace') and 'Hiluxes' (named after the Toyota Hilux). Yasi's are closed vehicles where the passengers are facing forward. If you have a tendency to get car sick, maybe take a Yasi instead of a Hilux. Hiluxes are pickup trucks of various qualities, shapes, and sizes. There are usually benches in the back, facing sideways. Due to the terrain and twisty roads, you might get motion sickness more quickly in these vehicles. Even though some Hiluxes have a tent-like cover around them to protect you from the wind, sun, and maybe even rain, it's best to not count on this and bring your own hat and dry bag.

Etiquette: please be careful with closing the doors of your Yasi's, as some of them are very new. You'll score good social points by not slamming the doors too hard when departing vehicles. This also applies to vehicles you hitchhike!


Mind of a Hitchhiker I have so far managed to hitch a ride on Sal and São Nicolau. On Sal, it was with a Portuguese man who immigrated to Cabo Verde after a holiday (a common story). It was only a short ride form Espargos to Palmeira. On São Nicolau, I hitched from Estância de Bras to the main road (just a few kilometers) with the local youth football team that was going to either practice or a match elsewhere on the island. In the latter case, it was in a Yasi (Hiace) vehicle, so I offered to pay, which the driver refused, which made it technically a hitch.

Nomadwiki & Trashwiki

Check Nomadwiki for info on accommodation, showers etc. or Trashwiki for dumpsters...and share your wisdom :)